Latin Sail Week
Return to the heritage
When people invented Latin sail in the13th century – a trademark of the Mediterranean that became recognisable identity of Kornati – they were able to sail not only down the wind, but against it as well.
The traditional Murter regatta 'Latinsko idro' (Latin Sail) is organised every year on the occasion of Saint Michael's Festivity, a Murter parish' protector. It starts in Hramina bay only with traditional wooden boats with Latin sail participating. They sail in three categories of traditional boats: leut, gajeta and kaić.
This is the opportunity to bring back memories on times when the residents of Murter used only these three mentioned types of boats with paddles and Latin sail, in the best case if the wind would allow it, in order to reach their lands overseas on Kornati islands and in Modrave. An ancient Mediterranean trademark –Latin sail – remained in use in Murter longer than on other Adriatic islands due to numerous estates on the mainland (Modrave) and on the neighbouring islands (Kornat, Žut, Sit). Latin sail from Murter differs from other sails by its sharp upper part that eases manoeuvres around small islands in Murter Sea. Usually the North-eastern wind bura and levanter were used for sailing to Kornati islands and calm sea for sailing to Modrave. Due to their numerous estates overseas, the residents of Murter had to be good seamen and reliable weathermen. Latin Sail Regatta was established ten years ago in memory of these skills of the ancestors, with the aim of preserving this heritage.
The regatta has developed in time by the number of boats and contesters to the point where it required its own organisational association that was established under the name «Udruga Latinsko idro Murter-Betina» (Association Latin Sail Murter-Betina), chaired by Željko Jerat, a co-owner and director of Jarušica Ltd. This year is the tenth anniversary of Latin Sail Regatta that in the meantime became an international event that was recognized in other Mediterranean countries as well. Since 2006 the event is followed by rich cultural-educational-entertaining program in a week of Latin Sail Regatta. Various workshops for young people demonstrate nautical skills, offering appropriate lectures, exhibitions, and literary evenings in authentic ambient of Kornati house, traditional lunch with roasted sardines on the old waterfront… The closing of the week is regatta itself, always sailed exclusively by old Murter farmers' routes. In line with the propositions, prizes are given to the best contesters (the most skilled and the fastest ones), encouraging the main objectives of Latin Sail – originality, youth, experience and honour. Hence the prices are: «sail, foremast, paddle, rudder, antenna, ropes...". All guests are welcome to race in this regatta, but in case they don't have Latin sail, they can always sail out of competition. It is also recommended that each crew takes children aboard as this regatta has educational character.
In spite of the somewhat worn out syntagm «Oh island, I love thee!» it could be literarily translated and applied in the Latin Sail event because no one makes profits during the period of this regatta (read: a seven-day rich cultural- entertaining-educational program), but everyone gives and receives back immensely.